Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's the beginning of the summer doldrums, with not a lot happening at Costa Mesa City Hall this week. The only City Council meeting of August will happen on Tuesday, August 2nd. We're told it will have a full agenda. The council voted to cancel the meeting of the 16th - not sure why.

Last week we wer
e told that "several" of the outsourcing RFPs will finally be released to the public this week. We'll believe it when we see it. Among the many unfortunate moves made by the current administration, the delay in producing the RFPs after making such a big deal of it four months ago may be among the most disappointing. Since that fateful day in March, when the layoff notices were issued, employees of the City of Costa Mesa have been looking over their shoulders. They've found themselves attacked by the leaders of this city and their sycophants as "greedy union thugs" and are working in a hostile environment caused by the ignorance of municipal governance and micro-managing by council members.

Despite promises of frequent updates of the list of RFPs, there was a two-month gap in updating the list. It was finally updated last week after some not-too-gentle prodding. That update showed that the process has now stretched until the end of the year, and I expect those dates will slip some more as the process bogs down. If the City releases a half-dozen RFPs, the responses to those will come flooding back at about the same time, forcing the same staffers who created the RFPs to become part of the review process. It's going to be like a python eating a small dog, or, actually, several small dogs. The bulge(s) in the work flow will necessarily cause the processes to slow down.


Of course, all of this is completely unnecessary. The only driving force for all this chaos is th
e political ambitions of one man - Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer. He campaigned as a "pension reformer", but can't do a thing about Costa Mesa pensions because the contracts with the bargaining units stretch beyond his term. So, the "next best thing" for him to do is flush those employees who will receive the pensions, like pushing the plunger on a toilet. So, he fabricates a fiscal crisis and cooks up the "outsourcing" fiasco. His actions have already caused many senior staffers - those with the institutional knowledge and skills developed over decades on the job - to either retire early or seek employment in a less-hostile environment elsewhere. Only Public Works Director Peter Naghavi remains from those department heads on the job a year ago.


Over the past several months, when speaker after speaker would address the folly of this council during Public Comments and while addressing specific issues before the council, Righeimer and his majority on the council either ignored the speakers or, in many instances, snapped back at the criticisms. During this time Righeimer has frequently dismissed those speakers as not being representative of the view of the majority of residents - those who can't be bothered to come speak at meetings. He apparently felt that the 12,997 votes he received last November gave him a mandate to run roughshod over the city.

Well, last night at the Concerts In The Park in Fairview Park Righeimer may have had his eyes opened. When the Master of Ceremonies, former councilman Mike Scheafe
r, mentioned to the thousands of folks attending the concert that Righeimer was in the crowd that introduction was greeted by sparse applause - a few people scattered throughout the throng. One observer said, "You could hear a pin drop!"And, it is reported to me, that he also got into a shouting match with a long-time resident and community activist - a woman highly respected in the community for her tireless volunteerism and for her willingness to speak to the council on important issues. So, how's that "mandate" working out for you now, Jim?

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Blogger Colin said...

I think they thought selling the city out to their buddies via RFPs would be an easier process then they thought. Either they are dragging their feet cause they don't know what to do, which wouldn't surprise me, or they are going over the RFPs with a fine tooth comb to hide all the gotchas and other increases in cost we are likely to see if these RFPs get picked up.

7/27/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Nancy Lee said...

There were more than a few boo's too. I was there and although I didn't boo, I felt like booing.I do believe he can see his Congressional ambitions slipping away faster than ice on a grill. Hopefully his bully cronie will get the message too.
I wish we had the recall papers handy last night, we would have filled them. This guy is such a loser.
On the other hand, the concert was great.

7/27/2011 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Kellogg said...

Senior Management is in chaos. Rules are bent and broken each day. A Building Official was hired as an employee without the required notice to the public. He did not go through an interview panel nor was there an open recruitment. Secondly, the 5th floor is refurbishing their lobby; with funds that were not allotted in the budget. Please confirm this by visiting the 5th floor. Confirm with Tom Hatch's assistant. Also, Dan Joyce (Public Affairs Manager) is drinking on the job at the Concert's in the Park. If he is being paid by the City of Costa Mesa- should an employee be allowed to drink on the job?

7/27/2011 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous ttfn said...

Colin, it would be an easier process if we didn't have so many union whiners who feel entitled to compensation for life. There are plenty of ambulance chasers out there who ready to capitalize on the current predicament. Delaying the process means more $$$ in their pockets.

Costa Mesa is not the only city outsourcing as a means to balance city budgets RIGHT NOW. Try reading something other than bubbling cauldron for news once in awhile. Your brain will thank you for it.

7/27/2011 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And yet, here you are...

7/27/2011 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Make no mistake about it:
Das Riggmarshal and his pals are well financed and supported.

Given the voter registration in Costa Mesa, Newport, etc. he stands an excellent chance of winning higher office.

But at what cost? After someone dies or is permanently injured because of cuts in safety personnel?

In this area, it will take sane Republicans to stop the extremists.

Riggy, Menssy and their supporters will do whatever it takes to hold onto and gain more power.

7/27/2011 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"There are plenty of ambulance chasers out there who ready to capitalize on the current predicament.."

"Anyone who calls das Riggmarshal's layoff plan illegal is an ambulance chaser."

We'll all be chasing ambulances if cuts to safety personnel continue.

"..if we didn't have so many union whiners.."

"Unions bad, outsourcing to cronies good."

Unions helped make this country great. There's no financial crisis in Costa Mesa and the extremist vendetta against our employees, especially police and fire fighters, needs to stop.

7/27/2011 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"try reading something other than bubbling cauldron for news.."

"Don't listen to a sane Republican like G. West. Follow extremists who will remake Costa Mesa into a goose-stepping wonderland."

I'll read and believe the accuracy of BC until Geoff gets himself a fat Lobdell Deal.

7/27/2011 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous cholism said...

7/27/2011 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Joe, hey, hey, hey... watch that "fat" reference.. we pudgy guys are sensitive, you know. :-)

"cholism" ( I assume your first name is "al"), I wondered how long it would take for someone to post that link to Joe Shaw's letter. Thanks...

7/27/2011 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

We could always go back to the 90s and use "phat."

A time when Gary actually cared about Costa Mesa;
And there was a skating rink and everyone lived off the PHAT of the land..

7/27/2011 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

A line by Joe Shaw, the HB councilman quoted in the orangejuiceblog, caught my eye: "The [HB] council recently heard from our pension expert John Bartels ..."

I never heard a report from the work he was hired to do for Costa Mesa. I was in the council chambers when he introduced himself, so I know he exists.

Does anyone know if he turned in a report and, if so, where to find it?

7/27/2011 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Darn - I left the concert early because of a cranky child, but as we were walking out I walked right past Riggy, who was talking politics with someone. Would have loved to have heard the (non) reaction.

However, one of his supporters did give him credit for having food trucks at the concerts now, and a beer garden. Wow, gee, thanks - I guess I should be more appreciative of his efforts to improve the city!

7/28/2011 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

ttfn - I do read lots of other news other then BC. Do you always throw causal insults to people you don't know on a blog comments section ? Cause lambasting someone for reading a blog is a great way to start a conversation.

7/28/2011 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

Geoff you're a republican? You just lost a reader.

7/28/2011 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

Frank: I am guessing lots of people that write here are Republicans. Remember, not all of us that are believe in the kind of conservative crap being spewed by Righeimer and his henchmen. Monahan never was either before these two jerks came on scene. Wish we could get the old Gary back.
These guys are uniting Costa Mesans from either party to join in removing this cancer from office and electing a non-partisan council that thinks Costa Mesa first.

7/29/2011 03:45:00 PM  

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